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By the 6th Century, Christian art had arrived at the direct representation of the crucifixion; but even then, almost three hundred years after the Emperor Constantine had abolished execution by crucifixion, for many the direct representation of the crucified Christ remained a stumbling block.
Only gradually was the symbolic representation of Christ on the Cross replaced by the depiction of the actual crucifix (i.e., the crucified Christ), which in the East, culminated in the eight-pointed Cross most common in the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Cross The world of Christian symbols is a hierarchy of signs that have their origin in divine forms of which they are images, according to St. The whole purpose of a man's life is knowledge of the Cross, that, at the end of his road, he might say: I have been crucified with Christ:, it is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives in me (Gal. In order to become a temple, a repository of the Spirit of God, the soul should follow the Lord step by step along the way of the Cross until, at last, all that remains for it is to be lifted up on the Cross in spirit, after which follows spiritual resurrection in the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
John of Damascus [Three Apologies Against the Iconoclasts]. Did not the Lord Himself tell us, that he who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me (Matt. The Holy Apostles, having heard the Savior speak of His own crucifixion and death on the Cross, and knowing the words of Old Testament Scripture that had been fulfilled, were wont to say: What God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ should suffer, He thus fulfilled (Acts ).
The second Sign of the Cross, made as the four parts of the Lamb are arranged upon the paten, sanctifies the ground.
A newly-erected church building is transformed into a temple of the Lord only after the Altar and walls have been signed with the Cross in Holy Oil.
At the Divine Liturgy, the Priest makes the Sign of the Cross with the Holy Lamb, and this is one of the most mysterious moments of the Eucharist.
This process, then, is the Church's meaning and justification, summed up in the words of the Apostle Paul: For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His.
We know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him (Rom. The earliest forms of the Cross in Christian art took the form of the depiction of the Cross as a monogram of the name of Jesus Christ.
Thus all the preaching of the Apostles is of Christ crucified: We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Cor. This teaching of the Apostles led to the transformation of mankind into the Body of Christ.